Mohawk Hudson Chapter
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Trip Reports - 2014


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July 23 - Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and Christman's Sanctuary
Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and Christman's Sanctuary, July 23, 2014
Both of these preserves, which are only about 10 minutes apart right outside of Altamont, are true gems. Wolf Creek Falls has a musical bridge in which 8 boards of the bridge itself can be used as a xylophone and a few of us enjoyed "playing" the bridge. Christman's Sanctuary is just a wonderful secluded little spot that we all enjoyed.
We had a fairly large group of 12 hiking on a very hot and humid day, but with plenty of water breaks and a primarily shady hike through beautiful woods and alongside lovely burbling brooks, we endured the weather and enjoyed the scenery and good company.

  Leader: John Tifft  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Nancy Crowther, Will Crowther, Dave Esmond, Donna Farber, Jim Torriani, Gerald Weber, Sharon Bonk, Barbara Howard, Margaret Castle, Doris Bindle




July 12 - Ulster-Dutchess Rail Trails Cycle
We cycled the Hudson Valley Rail Trail from Tony Williams Park in Lloyd, NY (near Highland), the Walk Way Across the Hudson connected with the Duchess County Rail Trail to Manchester Road and returned the same way for approximately 22 RT. Lunch was at Morland Lake on the Duchess path.
Joining in were a member of the NYNJ chapter, and 3 guests.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Jim Torriani, Peg Grogran, Blanche Nelson, Elyssa Respaut, Jill Respaut, Lorraine Smith

Midpoint- Walkway across the Hudson; photo by M. Grogan





July 9 - Olana Carriage Roads Walk
Although there were warnings of flashfloods in the county, Olana's hilltop location offered protection as well as wonderfuls of the property's formal and agricultrual landscapes and of the Hudson and Catskills. AND, it was sunny.




June 21 - White Rock Mountain
Our group's hike was an easy ridgeline walk along the Taconic Crest Trail (TCT) to the Snow Hole. On this first day of summer, the Snow Hole was empty of snow (unlike many former years) but was also enjoyed as an otherwise glorious day of sunshine in cool forest air. An early start meant returning to meet many hikers following in our steps appreciating this ridgeline of views. Our small group's lunch was near summit and vista looking out to an horizon of southwestern hills which included the quite amazing sight of a pair paragliders hovering up over Petersburg Pass. We later met a large group of these New England Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club members at their landing field & vista just above the Pass, alongside the TCT enjoying their excitement and flight. A quite enjoyable converse and outing for us all!

  Co-leader: Jean Laverdure, John Tifft  Participants: Ellen, Donna






June 18 - Inspiration Point and Hudson River Valley Overlook
Six of us began a hike on a clear day with cooling winds, so welcome when a hot, humid day was anticipated. The Catskills did not disappoint as we walked through woods with many mountain laurel not quite in full bloom and with beautiful views of the Escarpment Trail. Although we had only a 200 ft. elevation gain, due to many descents, we did this 200 ft. gain several times over. Overall, a great hike with great companions.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Ellen Kozlowski  Participants: Larry Sloman, Lynn Weaver, John Tifft, Mary Folsom

Group after enjoying great hike at Inspiration Point





June 16 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Our work at this greatly expanded preserve consisted of clearing the newly created trail and marking it. Along the way we gained an appreciation of what Peter Bakal of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy enthusiastically described as possibly the prettiest of all their preserves. Keep an eye out for the possibility of a snowshoe hike next winter.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, David Esmond




June 15 - Ashulowiltocook Bike Trail
A cool, cloudy morning lead to a sunny and clear afternoon for nine participants.
The trail was mercifully uncrowded so we were able to "amble" and "coast" amd socialize.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Randy MacDonald, Amy MacDonald, Blanche Nelson, Anne Finch, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Peg Grogan, Grethcen Gedroiz




June 7 - Trails Day at Thacher Park
There were a great deal more volunteers than anticipated for Trails Day. They were divided up into three different ventures. Mike and I joined the group clearing the Long Path from the back of the main office where the brush was especially thick until we were almost parallel with Hailes Cave. After the clearing work we all checked out Hailes Cave and wandered back to the Horseshoe I pavilion where the Friends of Thacher Park provided a BBQ lunch.

  Participants: John Tifft, Mike Boucher




June 2 - Trai Work With the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
The work started out with filling in a rut scarred portion of the Blue Trail. We utilized stone that was left over from the creation of a parking area. We then took a look at a possible relocation and finished up by clearing the trail by the river and on through to the end.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Dave Esmond, Ellen Kozlowski




May 28 - The Dome
The three of us climbed the Dome trail with an elevation gain of 1715 feet. We saw several varieties of wildflowers along the way including one solitary Lady Slipper. The "long abandoned truck" noted in the book has since been dismantled and is no longer recognizable as a truck. The quartzite summit was beautiful and we lingered there for an early lunch. On the way down, it was cooler and windier. We kept on our extra layer most of the way down. It was a great hike.

  Leader: Michelle Filiault  Co-leader: Martha Waldman  Participants: Kendra Pratt

On the summit of the Dome





May 24 - Path Creation in Conjunction with the Underground Railroad History Project of Albany
Five of our members along with several volunteers associated with the Underground Railroad History Project of Albany deigned to take on what seemed at the outset a daunting prospect of creating a garden path leading from Livingston Ave. to Third Street We were able to do about three quarters of the work until both weariness and a thunderstorm intervened late that afternoon. Mike Boucher and I completed the work the following Wednesday. Our hope is that our contribution will aid in the Underground Railroad History Project's continuing efforts to educate the public through their newly established Abram Johnson Garden (a pioneering abolitionist active in this area in the 1850's) through which our path goes.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Betty Nash, Mike Boucher, Chris Simson Boucher, David Esmond

Photos from the Underground Railroad History Project work day





May 7 - Albany Pine Bush Great Dune hike
This was a nice spring hike in a new area for many of us -- the Great Dune trails, area 8, of Albany Pine Bush. There was no mud since it was sandy, and lots of trilliums, birds, flowering shad, and skunk cabbage. Ten of us started off and did the yellow and blue loops, and mid-morning met up with the late-comers. Half of the group went home at 11:30, and the rest did the additional red loop for a total of almost 6 miles. We had several new members. Leader: Nancy Crowther. Participants: Ron and Margaret Whitford, Sharon Bonk, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber, Anne Finch, Chris Grossman, Kevin Sheehan, Mary Helen McComas, Dinah Farrington, Mona Gupta.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Chris Grossman, Anneliese Lawson, Gerhard Weber, Anne Finch, Kevin Sheehan, Ron Whitford, Margaret Whitford, Dinah Farrington, Mary Helen McComas, Mona Gupta

The group on the Great Dune, under flowering shad





April 28 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
After initially helping to clear out an alternate route around a wet area, and helping place some "corduroy logging" in another wet area, we helped Mike clear out some very nasty invasive brush. Mike's generous offer to help with this problem by using his weed whacker saw was much appreciated by the MHLC. While Mike did most of the most irritating work by getting in amongst the thorny brush and cutting it, Ellen, Dave and I helped to clear the brush that he had cut.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Dave Esmond, Mike Boucher, Ellen Kozlowski




April 27 - Trail Work at Dyken Pond Enviromental Center
Lisa Hoyt, the Director of the Dyken Pond Enviromental Center organized work to be done in celebration of Earth Day throughout the Center. Mary and I gravitated towards the installation of several Mosaic signs done as a community art project several years earlier there and placed thoughout the Center yearly. After some initial stops and starts, we were able along with two other very capable particpants to install the signs. We then helped put the planking down for the seats in their ampitheatre.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: mary folsom




April 26 - Trail Work with Rennselaer Land Conservancy
After being outfitted with garbage bags, the four of us struck out to attack the refuse in an area alongside the Tomahnnock Resevoir. The rain held out long enough for we four to gather some expected and not so expected garbage. Our efforts were very much appreciated by the sponsoring organization: the Rennselaer Land Trust .

  Leader: john tifft  Participants: mary folsom, chris simson boucher, mike boucher




April 21 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Along with trail workers affiliated with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, Mike and Dave worked on the new parking lot there, along with clearing a new path.

  Participants: Mike Boucher, Dave Esmond




April 19 - Yokun Ridge North
Yokun Ridge North was an all AMC member hike represented by the Boston(1) Connecticut( 1) and Berkshire chapters with our own Mohawk Hudson Chapter (3) arriving to meet those other hikers together at the Olivia's Overlook trailhead. Our group of seven enjoyed a beautiful, brisk, spring day which warmed as the day's hiking approached to our warming restful lunchtime and vista stop. In a leisurely four hours we hike a loop of under five miles chatting, studying the greenery, an 1800's farmhouse site, snowy tracks in the remnants of winter, a Yokun Glade's geocache, and even to guessing at scat. Our Mohawk Hudson group followed up our hike with a visit to the Arcadian shop trailhead to Kennedy Park in Lenox to acquire ourselves area maps.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Donna Blodgett, Sara Hart, Allison Sanders, Jim Torriani, Roger Dietlin




April 18 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
Our group of three helped representatives from the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy at the Wolf Creek Preserve do several things. They cleared a lot of brush, widened the parking lot, and helped clear a new trail.

  Participants: Jim Torriani, Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher




April 17 - Trail Work with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
This small preserve across from the Bethlehem High School required some renewing to its many wet areas. A new bridge was installed. The old bridge was taken apart and part of it layered over other wet areas. New planking was also put in place replacing some old planking.

  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar




April 16 - Huyck Preserve, Rensselaerville
We were surprised by an overnight snowfall of 4-5" which covered any signs of spring that might have been on the trails. The group proceeded briskly up the west side of Lake Myosotis. We sheltered out of the wind on the porches of buildings of Frog Camp on Lincoln Pond, and returned via the Wheeler-Watson, Ordway, and East Side trails for a total of 6 miles. We were treated to rushing waters and a full cascading set of waterfalls.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Karen Ross, Lorre McCarron, Charlie Beach, Dave Esmond, Audrey Wyman, Ellen Kozlowski, Kendra Pratt, Chris Grossman, Mary MacDonald, Mary MacDonald

Photo by Charlie Beach





April 12 - Rochester Hollow, Shandanken Wild Forest
A great warmish day for a delightful 7 mile walk through the estate carriage roads and two newish DEC trails. We saw few signs of spring although we heard peepers in loud chorus and watched a pool of other frogs jumping and sunning. A treat was being joined by Alan Via, author of the recent Adirondac article on Rochester Hollow, so he was able to fill us in on more details and history of the place.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Roger Dietlin, Dorothy Russell, Amy MacDonald, Chris Boucher, Mike Boucher, Stacey Michon

Burroughs Memorial





March 8 - Huyck Preserve
What was presented to us as participants for the terrain starting out led to a guessing game as to what footgear to wear. Two of the participants chose microspikes thinking that the trail would be packed hard enough. Unfortunately the trails turned softer after about a mile and a half, therefore we turned around. The hike to that point was very pleasant, and presented enough incentive for us to return at a future date to explore this marvelous preserve.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: ellen kozlowski, mary folsom




March 8 - Wilton Preserve X-C Skiing
A fine day for spring skiing. The snow softened so the icy trails were easy to maneuver and we could go off into the woods to explore a bit without encountering crusty conditions. Six(?) miles; lunch at a lean too. Home early.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Charlie Beach, Linda Neil

Wilton Preserve, the end of the trail.  Photo by Charlie Beach





March 5 - Shaker Mountain
Seven of us hiked & snowshoed a 6.5 mile loop around Shaker Mountain. On this nearly perfect twenty-something degree day, five of us began the trek on microspikes, with two opting to wear snowshoes from the beginning. A little over halfway, we all had to put on snowshoes due to softer, deeper, more unbroken snow. Though we couldn't see most of the sights due to snow, we enjoyed looking for fenceposts or a glimpse of stone wall and discussing the history of the area. Four of us stopped at Blueberry Hill Cafe for a hot drink and a snack on the way home.

  Leader: Michelle Filiault  Co-leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Mike Boucher, Martha Waldman, Ellen Kozlowski, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber




March 1 - Peaked Mtn
Peaked Mountain March 1,2014-It was a great day for a hike. The temperature was 6 degrees. The trail was easy to follow, although the snow filled in the trail in parts. The trail to the mountain is steep near the top. The footing in the deep snow was difficult. We stayed on the summit, briefly. Afterwards, we had lunch near the pond. From there, we retraced our steps and got back to the truck. A great time was had by all.

  Leader: Kevin Cox  Participants: Sue Jordan, Myra F.




February 26 - Featherstonhaugh State Forest (Nordic Skiing or Snowshoeing)
We had planned a cross country ski trip but snow conditions dictated that people might feel safer on snowshoe, so we opened the trip to snowshoers. We ended up with two skiers and 5 snowshoers, and we all stayed together. We did one side of the figure eight shape on the north side of Lake Road, crossed the road, and did the big loop on the south side of Lake Road, then back to the cars. Although cold, we were all warm enough due to lack of wind and the exercise.We then went to the leaders' nearby house for lunch.

  Leader: Nancy Crowther  Co-leader: Will Crowther  Participants: David Esmond, Gerry Weber, Sue Jordan, Kathie Armstrong, Jack Daniels




February 19 - Grafton State Park X-C Skiing
Grafton Park snow was ideal for skiing as all the rocks and logs were deep beneath the snow. We skied the Spruce Bog Trail from Mill Pond to Fire Tower Road, then skied down the road to the NIMO trail, returning to Mill Pond via Long Pond Rd which was also skiable rather than taking the shorter but tricker skiing of the Cutover Trail. During the ski we experienced high winds. sleet, and snow, but had a great time.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Michelle Filiault, Mike Boucher, Dave Cedar, Mary Folsom






February 15 - Peebles Island State Park
All participants in this hike, excepting perhaps one, were gratified that some pioneering snowshoe packing work had been done the previous day on most of the trails at Peebles Island State Park. Even if the day was a rather dismal grey, the views of the rivers were still grand, and one had to agree with someone we met along the Perimeter Trail that it "was still a glorious day". What made it even more special was seeing a Pileated Woodpecker, along the way, foraging for edibles without any seeming notice of our presence. In all we did 3.7 miles of leisurely snowshoeing.

  Leader: Jean Laverdure  Co-leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Kozlowski, David Esmond, Esther Sosman




February 12 - Dyken Pond Snowshoe
Bitter cold temperatures caused several registrants to cancel the morning of the snowshoe. Seven hearty souls met at the Environmental Center entrance where the sky was blue, the temperature at brisk 4F, and the snow deep and fluffy. The Long Trail parking lot was unplowed so we started out at the end of the road and went out on the pond before we began on the forest trails. An auto emergency necessitating several calls to and from AAA resulted in shortening of the planned hike, but spirits were high with agreement to come again to finish the trail, perhaps in the spring between the mud and bug seasons.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dale Blanchett, Mary MacDonald, Marthal Waldman, Katie Henriksons, Dave Cedar, Mike Boucher




February 8 - Thacher Park
February 8, 2014 Thacher Park
We had a beautiful winter day for our 5 mile snowshoe. It was sunny, with a brilliant blue sky, very little breeze and temperatures in the teens. We quickly warmed up as we made our way along the Fred Schroeder Trail. We stopped briefly at High Point for a great view of the Capital District area and we could see our next destination Hang Glider Point. As we made our way to Hang Glider Trail we found that no one had yet broken trail through the snow on the Long Path Trail which would connect to the trail we needed. Cliff enthusiastically took the lead and broke trail. At Hang Glider Point we again enjoyed the views as well as a snack. We then made our way back to the cars. The birds were also enjoying the weather, along the way we heard a raven and a couple chickadees.



  Leader: Martha Waldman  Participants: Sharon Bonk, Kaaren Caron, Pat McPhee, Cliff Prewencki

High Point on the Fred Schroeder Trail





February 6 - Notchview X-C Ski
Rescheduled from February 5 when the snowfall was too heavy to drive to Windsor MA. We began skiing at about 10:15 amidst the groomers and very few other people. Five participants skied the intermediate trails in the woods to the shelter where we saw the notch. In the afternoon we sought the sun in the open fields and doubled back on the new Berkshire Trail. The visitor center has recently been renovated and includes a snack bar and waxing room and upstairs lounge area.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Lore McCarron, Karen Ross, Vicky Singer, Sabine Prather






January 29 - Schenectady County Cross Country Ski
We changed the venue of this easy cross-country ski trip to Schenectady County Forest, where we knew the snow to be OK. It was cold (12 degrees) but sunny and not windy, and we were fine due to actively moving. We skied the main loop at County Forest, then moved to our nearby house, where we had a warm-up break inside. We then skied on newly completed trails in our woods. At both locations we could have used more snow, but it was acceptable. After the skiing we had a lunch of hot soup and bread, and then had a surprise music playing session with Chet on fiddle, Nancy on bass and Will on recorder!

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: David Esmond, Kathie Armstrong, Chet Harvey

Three of the five of us, with brilliant blue sky and nice snow





January 8 - Catskill Outing
It was cold and there was little snow left, so the snow shoes rested in the car. There were patches of ice but our stabilizers and micro-spikes took care of that. So six of us started hiking at about 10:30. The lakes were frozen and the sun was pleasant. Near the North beach somebody decorated some balsams with Christmas decorations. We looked and found some striations from last ice age thanks to Dr. Titus who taught us at our annual meeting. The view of the Hudson Valley was spectacular, one could really see the icy ribbon of the river. Lunch was at the Mountain House or what is left of it. This hotel has gone downhill, there service was lousy. The only disappointing thing was that there was not enough snow.

  Leader: Gerry Weber  Participants: Wil Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Ellen Kozlowski, Josie Twombly, Darcy Dyer






January 1 - Schodack Island State Park
An unexpectedly sunny 20 degree New Year's Day greeted us for this 4.1 mile trip. The flat trail was icy, but no one had troubles. With the leaves gone we had good views of the Hudson

  Leader: Arthur Fontijn  Co-leader: Frank Wind  Participants: Ellen Koslowski, David Esmond, Chris Boucher, Mike Boucher, Gerry Weber, Dee Portzer, Lena Weber, Rolf Weber, Anne Finch, Paul Esmond, Claire Esmond, Thomas Camingo, Rosemary Camingo







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